Dalhousie Law Journal


jurisprudence, socialist legal system, theory, socialism, law, comparative law, Soviet Union


It might be wise to stop here. Even a reader who is sympathetic to jurisprudential imagination must regard the communicable part of my title with considerable misgiving. For he or she can hardly be unaware of the double jeopardy in which the general theorist of law places himself when dealing with socialist legal systems. The first has been aptly described by Alasdair MacIntyre in his parable of a man who aspired to be the author of the general theory of holes.' The moral of the story, that the concept of a hole is a poor foundation for a general theory that would explain all holes, is, to put it mildly, not devalued by the fact that, in construing a theory of socialist legal systems, one may lack concepts of both socialism and law, not to speak of the concept of a legal system.